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Navigating newsrooms as a minority

Kendra Pierre-Louis writes in The Open Notebook, "I have experienced racism in the newsroom. This hasn’t surprised me. I have been black my whole life, so racism has been a fixture of my whole life.

What has surprised me, as someone who transitioned to journalism from other work, is that I’ve encountered racism more frequently in journalism than I did in previous professions. I have had colleagues assume I attended schools racked with gun violence. I’ve seen a coworker slip horrifically racist comments into a work chat, only to rapidly delete their words (I can only assume they had meant to send the comments as a direct message to someone else). And I have had to push back against edits that reinforced racist stereotypes.

My experience is not unusual, as I’ve discovered after talking to other journalists who are of color, queer, or both. Their experiences include colleagues assuming that any person of color in the newsroom must be part of the cleaning staff, aggressive attacks on their background, and unjustified doubts about their professional qualifications.

I’m lucky to work in a place with strong worker protections; it means that I feel able to speak relatively openly about the experience of what it means to be a minority in journalism. But that isn’t true for everyone. Many people I talked to for this article agreed to comment only anonymously." READ MORE>>

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